Welcome to Defender’s Voice. I am Paul Kattupalli. Thank you for joining us today. Greetings to every one of you in the precious and wonderful name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I hope you are doing well by the grace of God. I pray that you are happy during this Christmas season.
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Today, let us meditate on Christmas. I would like to show you 7 precious things from the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 2. When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, wise men came from the east to Jerusalem. They wanted to see baby Jesus. How many wisemen did come to visit Jesus? On Christmas cards, we see three wisemen. But the Gospels do not inform us how many wisemen went to visit Jesus. Three or thirty or three hundred, we do not know.
No matter how many went, they made a great journey. God gave them that great privilege of seeing His infant Son. He gave them the blessing of worshiping the incarnate Son of God. While I was reading this chapter from the Gospel of Matthew, I was moved by 7 things.
First, the Wisdom of Christmas. Bethlehem was a little town near Jerusalem, around 10 kilometers or 6 miles. You can still visit this town in Israel. Last time I was in Israel, I had a pleasant trip to Bethlehem. Jesus was born in this town. When he was born in this world, the Roman Empire was the dominant world power. They were ruling Judea. King Herod was ruling in Jerusalem with the backing of the Romans.
The wisemen came to Jerusalem to inquire about the Messiah. They were called wisemen. That is interesting. Why were they wise? What is wisdom? Knowing the truth is wisdom. You cannot have wisdom without truth. Wisdom is knowing and practicing the truth. All truth belongs to God. All wisdom belongs to God. Truth – no matter where you found it, no matter who gave it to you, its original source is God. Wisdom – no matter where you found it, no matter who gave it to you, its original source is God.
The Bible burns a lot of ink on the importance of wisdom. Hundreds of verses are devoted to the importance of wisdom. For example, Proverbs chapter 3, verses 13,14 say
Blessed are those who find wisdom
those who gain understanding
for she is more profitable than silver
and yields better returns than gold. Proverbs 3:13,14
Wisdom is more profitable than silver – it is more profitable than gold; it is more profitable than fame. God says, blessed are those who find wisdom. You might ask, what do I gain by acquiring wisdom? Let us read Proverbs chapter 4, verses 6 to 7.
Do not forsake wisdom,
and she will protect you
Love her, and she will watch over you.
Wisdom will protect you. It will watch over you. The wisemen are called wise men because they wanted wisdom. Now, they are on their way towards Jerusalem to visit Lord Jesus Christ.
What is the relationship between Jesus and wisdom? Jesus is the personification of wisdom. He is the manifestation of perfect wisdom. Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians chapter 1, verse 30
Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. Do you want wisdom? Then you must come to Jesus, who is made unto us the wisdom from God. Jesus Christ came to us as wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption.
We were in ignorance, Jesus became our wisdom
We were in unrighteousness, Jesus became our righteousness
We were in sin, Jesus became our sanctification
We were in bondage, Jesus became our redemption.
Two thousand years ago, the wisemen visited Lord Jesus Christ and acquired the wisdom of God. Today, we can gain the same wisdom from God.
You might say, ‘I don’t think I am considered a wise man or wise woman? I don’t have a PhD at the end of my name, I am not a scholar, I never graduated top of my class. I don’t think I am wise’. But listen. You don’t need all those things to become wise in the eyes of God. Everyone who comes to know Jesus Christ is wise. The wise men from the East became wise when they visited Lord Jesus Christ. So are you. You are a wise man, You are a wise woman if you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
Secondly, The wonder of Christmas. The wonder of Christmas. The wisemen from the East wanted to visit baby Jesus. But they got a problem. ‘How can we find this baby in this vast country?’ Where was he born? Then a star appeared before them. You can imagine the wonder and bewilderment they must have gone through. What in the world is going on? A star is guiding us! They just followed that star. Finally it stood on the top of a house in Bethlehem. They went inside and found the Lord Jesus Christ. They were amazed and enthralled.
We read in the Book of Isaiah, chapter 9, verse 6.
For unto us a child is born
unto us a son is given
and the government shall be upon his shoulder
and his name shall be called Wonderful,
Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father,
the Prince of Peace.
For unto us a child is born
unto us a son is given
One of his names is wonderful.
Jesus Christ is wonderful. His birth in this world was a wonderful event.
What is more wonderful than God taking a human form!
What is more amazing than God coming to this world as a baby!
The wise men from the East were amazed by the birth of Jesus. People who watched Jesus were amazed by the wonderful things He did.
When Jesus debated, people were amazed by his wisdom.
When Jesus was baptized and the Holy Spirit descended on him as a dove, people were amazed.
When Jesus walked over the water, his disciples were amazed.
When Jesus multiplied five loaves of bread to feed thousands of people, people were amazed.
When Jesus called Lazarus out of his grave – who had been dead for 4 days – people were amazed.
When Jesus was having a conversation with Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration, people were amazed.
When Jesus calmed a storm on the Sea of Galilee, his disciples were amazed
When Jesus turned water into wine, people were amazed.
When Jesus conquered the grave on the Easter morning, people were amazed
When Jesus ascended into heaven on the Mount of Olives, people were amazed
This Christmas baby is amazing. In his birth, in his wisdom, in his power, in his teachings, He is amazing, He is wonderful. Wisdom produces wonder.
When a scientist discovers some hidden wisdom about nature, he or she will be caught in great wonder. We read in Proverbs chapter 3, verse 19.
The Lord by wisdom founded the earth,
by understanding he established the heavens.
The Lord by wisdom created this universe. When a scientist discovers wisdom in nature, he or she is looking at the mind of God. He or she stands in amazement when they discover a natural law working in perfect harmony and symmetry. Sometimes, God suspends the natural laws to perform his great miracles.
How could a virgin give birth to a child?
How could a star guide people to a baby?
How could angels come down from heaven to celebrate the birth of a baby?
You see, God did such wonderful things when Jesus Christ was born. Jesus Christ himself is wonderful. When I was a teenager, I used to spend a lot of time in boredom. One day, my dad asked me, ‘How are you doing?’
I replied, ‘I am so bored. Everything is boring’. My dad looked at me and said, ‘Study the Bible. God will show you wonderful things’. That was great advice. As I studied the Bible, as I contemplated the person of Christ, I started to see wonderful things. I never get bored when I think about God.
As we read in the Book of Daniel,
How great are his signs!
and how mighty are his wonders!
The first Christmas day shows us the wonderful signs of God.
Thirdly, the Way of Christmas. The Way of Christmas. The star took the wise men on a journey. It showed them the way to Christ. Their way ended when they entered the house where baby Jesus was living. God showed the wisemen a way to His Son. Christmas is not just a festival. It is the way God prepared before us. We see the wisdom of God in his ways.
We read in Romans chapter 11, verse 33
O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments
and untraceable his ways!
We can’t even imagine the depths of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God. Yet, he prepared a way for us. The way of Christmas is a product of divine wisdom.
Proverbs chapter 4: 11
I have taught you in the way of wisdom
I have led you in right paths
Note those words. God wants to teach you the way of wisdom. He wants to lead you in the right path. That is what happened on the first Christmas Day. God paved the way of wisdom before the wisemen. He paved the way of wisdom before us. In the olden days, the sailors used to depend on the stars for navigation across a sea. People used to look at the stars for orientation during their journeys. Are you oriented or disoriented? During the journey of life, you must look to Christ for the right orientation in life. If you don’t look at him, you will get disoriented.
The wisemen were not disoriented. They were not lost. They followed the star of Bethlehem which shed its light on their path. Christmas is not just a day of festival. It is the way God prepared for you to give the right orientation in life. Every day you should walk on this way God set before you.
Jesus said, ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the life’.
Because Jesus is the way, without Him you are lost.
Because Jesus is the truth, without Him you are in falsehood.
Because Jesus is life, without Him you are dead.
He is the Way. There is truth in that way. There is life in that way.
Fourthly, the Writing of Christmas. The Writing of Christmas.
You can see the finger of God on Christmas. As the wise men approached Jerusalem, they were surprised by the movements of the star. It did not stop in Jerusalem. It was going towards Bethlehem. They were perplexed. “Why is this star not standing in Jerusalem? The King of the Jews must be born in Jerusalem. Why is this star moving towards Bethlehem?”.
They went to the royal palace in Jerusalem. King Herod was ruling Judea at that time. The wise men asked him, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him’. When King Herod heard this he was disturbed. He summoned his chief priests and teachers of the law. He asked them, ‘What are these men talking about? Who is the King of the Jews? Where would he be born?”
They showed him the prophecies of Micah. ‘Your majesty, this is what the Prophet wrote. But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler, who will shepherd my people Israel’
You see, God foretold where His Son would be born. He foretold the name of the town where His Son would be born. On the first Christmas day, that prophecy was fulfilled. After a long journey from north to south, Joseph and wife traveled to Bethlehem and she gave birth to Christ child.
That is the uniqueness of Christmas. We see the finger of God on this day. What God wrote through his prophets hundreds of years ago came to fulfillment on that day.
Fifthly, the Worship of Christmas. The Worship of Christmas.
The wisemen finally reached the house of Christ child. See what they did? Matthew chapter 2, verses 10 and 11.
On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him.
The wisemen were filled with joy. They bowed down and worshiped Lord Jesus Christ. Their journey started with wonder and ended in worship. The real Christmas is about worship of Lord Jesus Christ. How is your Christmas today? People exchange Christmas gifts. Go on vacation. Attend Christmas parties. That’s all good. But they do not take time to worship Christ. Such Christmas is meaningless. Such Christmas is not profitable to your soul. We see worship on the first Christmas. Like the wise men from the East, we should take time to worship Christ.
Sixthly, the Wealth of Christmas
After worshiping the Christ child, the wisemen also gave him gifts. Let us read Matthew chapter 2, verse 11.
The wisemen opened their treasures and presented Jesus with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Matthew 2:11
Note those words. The wisemen opened their treasures and presented Jesus with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. They honored the Son of God with valuable gifts.
We read in 2 Corinthians chapter 8, verse 9.
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that you through his poverty might be rich.
Lord Jesus Christ is so rich. He is the richest person ever. He is the wealthiest person ever. Yet, he put away all his riches and came to this world as a simple person. That is the richness of grace.
Apostle Paul wrote in Colossians chapter 2, verse 3
In Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Note those words. All the treasures of wisdom. All the treasures of knowledge. They are hidden in Christ. When you come to this Christmas baby, you will receive this great wealth of God in Christ.
Finally, the Weeping of Christmas.
King Herod was full of deceit. He wanted to kill baby Jesus. So, he told the wisemen, ‘Look, you go and find the little child. And when you have found him come back and tell me because I would like to go and worship him too’.
The wise men listened to the king and went to Bethlehem. King Herod put his evil mind into action. But God sent an angel and told the wise men not to meet Herod and leave Judea in a different route. Herod became very angry. He saw that he had been fooled by the wise men. He issued orders, and killed all the male children of two years and under in Bethlehem and the surrounding district.
Herod, the baby killer. That is not surprising if you look into his background. He got his own sons killed when he thought they might conspire against him. Why would he care about this Jewish baby?
We read in Proverbs chapter 9, verse 10.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
Note those words. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. If you have the fear of the Lord in your life, you are a wise man. If you have the fear of the Lord in your life, you are a wise woman.
If you don’t have the fear of the Lord in your life, God calls you a fool. Herod was such a fool. He focused all his life on things of this world. He never cared about the things of God. He had no fear of God in his life. That is why his feet were swift in shedding the blood of the innocent. Christmas teaches us the preciousness of human life. It teaches us the preciousness of a child. Herod has no such compunctions.
A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted, because they were no more. (Matthew 2:17-18)
Rachel was weeping for her children. She could not be comforted.
During the first Christmas season, on one hand, there was joy and celebration. On the other hand, there was weeping and great mourning. This Christmas is no different. We have joy and celebration on one hand, and weeping and mourning on the other hand.
I heard about a seven year old girl named Athena Strand. One morning she was so excited to see a FedEx truck. She thought, ‘this is it. The truck is coming. I am going to receive my Christmas gift. But something horrible happened. The truck driver accidentally backed his truck into her. She was not seriously injured. The truck driver then abducted her and brutally killed her. He had an evil heart. He did not think about the preciousness of that child. He viciously attacked her and killed her. A child running for a Christmas gift is now dead. What a heartbreak for her parents. Their Christmas became a day of weeping and mourning.
I heard about a young man going around inviting people to attend his wedding. He got chest pain due to a heart attack and died. What a heartbreak for his parents. Their Christmas became a day of weeping and mourning.
Maybe there is some weeping and mourning in your life today. One of the names of Jesus is ‘the comfort of Israel’. He is the God of all comfort. He wants to comfort you and wipe away your tears.
So, this Christmas, we saw 7 things from Matthew chapter 2.
The Wisdom of Christmas, when you come to Jesus, you are wise.
The Wonder of Christmas, when you come to Jesus, you found a wonderful God.
The Way of Christmas, when you come to Jesus, you come to the Way.
The Writing of Christmas, when you come to Jesus, you have come to the One promised by God through his chosen prophets.
The Worship of Christmas, when you come to Jesus, you should worship him
The Wealth of Christmas, when you come to Jesus, you have come to the person in whom all treasures of wisdom and of knowledge are hidden
The Weeping of Christmas, when you come to Jesus, you have come to the person who will comfort you even in all the suffering you might be going through.
May this Christmas become a time of blessing in your life.